Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cupcakes, cupcakes and cupcakes

I hate airport security. I'm sure everyone else does too. But seriously, shoes and jackets off (which leaves me shoeless most of the time), then you rush through the line so you don't hold it up, then have to slow back down again to gather everything up again. Ugh.

Obviously, I flew this weekend. I went to Grand Rapids to visit my mom. Seems a bit weird that I'd go north at this time of year instead of south, but whatever works. I got to meet her new kitty, Salem, who is really cute. And visit her other kitty and dog. You all think I'm an animal person, but you haven't met my mom. Believe me.

I spent most of my time up there doing homework, but I did manage to get in some baking. I'm a little concerned that my baking time is going to go way down in the next couple weeks. Actually, I know it is. I have a major test this week (in a theory class, with material that goes WAY over my head), a major test next week, have to start writing my project, start designing the yearbook, and a laundry list of other things to do. I'm also going to Manhattan this weekend for my first experience with Fake Patty's. I figure I promised a friend I'd visit sometime, so might as well make it this weekend. Then spring break in Vegas — can't wait!!

But I've been making cupcakes again recently. I've done two rounds of Contemporary Feminist Political Theory Birthday Cupcakes. Both girls wanted chocolate cupcakes with regular frosting, so I made Martha's Devil's Food cupcakes. They have sour cream in them, which makes them especially rich and yummy. For Elise, I made red frosting, and I've started using icing tips. I'm getting better, but my cupcakes still look a little wonky sometimes. But they definitely look better than just slopping on the icing (photo courtesy my wonderful food photographer Tanner Grubbs). Then I also made the same kind of cupcakes for Elizabeth, but left the icing white and used pretty Easter sprinkles. Ultimately, I don't really care about many holidays themselves, but I love the decorations (and sprinkles!) holidays bring.

While in Grand Rapids, I usually go clothes shopping with my mom (I got these shoes this time), this trip also had a large focus on specialty food shopping. One place, Martha's Vineyard, had a whole bunch of unique beers, wines and foods. I got Drew a six-pack of local beers, all with awesome labels. Another place, Russo's, is more of a grocery store, although we got some wine there too. There I found Marsala for tiramisu cupcakes and graham flour for s'mores cupcakes. My suitcase coming home was pretty darn heavy, because I got a bottle of specialty vodka too.

While I was there, though, I decided to try a recipe I've been wanting to for a while: malted milk cupcakes. They're basically dark chocolate cupcakes (with sour cream again, I promise it's not gross but actually makes them yummy!) with malted milk powder mixed in. I'm a big Whopper girl, or in this season, Robin's Eggs girl. I prefer not to buy them that often, otherwise I eat too many at once and make myself sick. But a cupcake version sounded too good not to do. Something I realized is that I've become very accustomed to my stand mixer. My mom doesn't have one, and I'd forgotten how much I dislike hand mixers when you have to mix for a long time. My stand mixer spoils me. :) But anyway, I didn't taste that much of malt in the cupcakes, so when I made the frosting, I mixed in more malt powder. They were pretty tasty. I will be making them again.

We'll see how much time I have to bake this week or next. I'm not sure I'll even have time to use it as a stress-reliever, no matter how much I need it. Sigh. Senior year isn't supposed to be this stressful.


  1. Senior year is the most stressful because in addition to having the hardest classes yet, you have this huge "What am I going to do next? What am I going to be when I grow up?" hanging over your head.

    Contemporary Feminist Political Theory Birthday Cupcakes?

  2. I need details about this frosting business! Unless I do vampire-bitten cupcakes, mine just look blah …

  3. I adore you. SO excited that my birthday/birthday cupcakes are in a blog. You're a wonderful pastry chef, lady!


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